Looking for Prabhupada
In the confidentiality of our early exchanges with Prabhupada in 1966, we asked him, "Who is Krishna? How can we find Him?" Swamiji’s answer was that He is found in the Vedic literatures and by devotional service He will be revealed to us. This led us to other questions like, "How can we always have confidence that this gradual pace is best?" The answer was that we have to be patient. There is no other way.
Prabhupada really was—and is—available to us. We are never devoid of his association. All we need is a little faith. We don't have to give up our regular duties in Prabhupada's service to go off and look for Prabhupada. Prabhupada (and Krishna) reveal themselves through our service. Although we speak of patience, we don't have to wait ten thousand years before we receive any revelation. All we have to do is look in the right place.
We keep looking for ecstasy in illicit acts or in places where our pleasure causes pain to others. Prabhupada taught us that with humility and contrition, we can seek the path of nectar in service to Krishna. He also taught us to be patient with the dryness that comes due to our offenses.
We still have doubts. How do we know that the nectar of our service is actually the nectar of Krishna consciousness and not the usual folly of the conditioned soul? We have to consult. We have to consult our hearts, pray to Krishna, and especially consult with the spiritual master.
We shouldn't think that approaching Prabhupada is completely mystical or unattainable. Leave nothingness to the voidist philosophers. We can always do something. We can always open one of Prabhupada's books. Even on the days we feel empty; even if we open the book and still feel blank. When that happens, we have no choice but to get over the slump. That much is in our power. We have to take hold of ourself and say, "Prabhupada is here in this book. Why do I think I can't get anything out of it?" At least I can go to the stone wall of my heart and cry out, "Prabhupada, please help me. What have I done that now your mercy seems to be withheld from me?" Prabhupada will answer. Approaching Prabhupada in deeper and deeper ways requires deeper and deeper prayer and service, an intensification of the whole consciousness. Then Prabhupada will reciprocate. But the question is always there, "Do you really want to be with him?"
If you want to be with him, you will have to examine the things that keep you away from him. Prabhupada is not keeping away from us; we may be pushing him away due to lack of clarity in our desire. Once we get some of the direct power of Prabhupada's association, then all our negative thought patterns fall into place. We understand that they are like scratches that will continue to bother us until we are liberated. They are not important; rather, they are bothersome. In no way do they stop us from our main activity of loving Prabhupada wholeheartedly.[ meditations ]